Meco decision

Families pushing to reopen the investigation into the mysterious drowning of six students at Meco beach over a year ago will hear whether their efforts are to be rewarded on March 4. National media has long reported that the mourning families believe the only student to have survived has been economic with the truth. João Gouveia has refused even to talk to the parents of his dead friends.

But Público reports this week that magistrates are still divided over whether the case has grounds to go forwards.

According to the Setúbal judge who has been listening to the families’ case to reopen investigations, “even if João Gouveia had ordered his friends into the sea, that is not a crime”.

The six students were all swept to their deaths by rough seas and a reportedly freak wave.

The lawyer representing the families has told Público that if the case is not reopened, that does not mean they will give up. “We could still appeal to the Court of Human Rights, the Appeal Court or claim civil responsibility,” he said.

The tragedy centres on student “pranks”. Gouveia was, at the time, the so-called “Dux” (head) of the students’ pranks committee.

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